A happy mingling of love discovered, love thwarted and love regained, The Apple Tree by Lynette Sofras also contains reflections about the nature of friendship, marriage, and self-discovery. Recently separated Juliet Somerville returns to England from Saudi Arabia, struggling not only with her romantic future but also the prospects for her career. Her previous existence has centered for years on the goal of becoming a doctor, and the path was smoothed by the very man she now has left, once her mentor, cheerleader and husband. Questions about the suitability of her chosen occupation exacerbate her readjustment into a relationship with her older sister, her sole relative and a renowned physician who dismisses any possible change in Juliet's professional aspirations. Then a chance meeting with an old friend introduces her to an attractive man she assumes is a gardener, Nicholas Masserman. Suddenly new possibilities appear, and Juliet begins to explore romance as she draws closer to a decision about her life. But when she fails to be up front about her status, when assumptions are made on both sides about the romance with Nicholas, when an unexpected tragedy strikes, and when misunderstandings cascade one over another, the resolution the reader is rooting for appears impossible. Life isn't simple, and Sofras has created a tale enhanced by complexities found in real situations as well as showing a woman's growth independent of her romantic relationship. Nicolas and Juliet deserve their happy ending; and like the best of partnerships, improve each other as their love affair grows. Sofras's debut romance is solid and smooth, and readers will look forward to more books from her.